February 16th, 2015

Voytek the soldier bear

Ascending Expectation

Back when Neal was in grad school at Naropa, he conducted a symposium about role-playing games, wherein a bunch of us friends who like to game got together over a series of evenings and discussed what story-telling games are and what makes a good one. One of the conclusions we came to (a conclusion that is so useful and true that I kind of forget that not everybody knows it) is that there is no One True Way To Game; anything can work, so long as everybody is on board for whatever it is you're doing. The vast majority of problems at the gaming table arise because there's a disconnect between what one or more of the participants thought they signed up for and what they're actually getting. Which is to say, it's all about managing expectations.

Not unrelatedly, yesterday (Sunday) Monkey & I went to see Jupiter Ascending, and I enjoyed the heck out of it. I had heard enough of people's reactions online that I was expecting something gorgeous and ridiculous and maybe not super-coherent, and as a result, I was not disappointed one bit. On a spectrum ranging from Star Wars to Flash Gordon, I would place it a little bit to the left of The Fifth Element midway between. It's loud and eclectic and beautiful and knows that it's a little too weird to take itself too seriously, and if you're down with that going into it, I recommend it.

Also, on Saturday we spent all day playing Descent at Matt & Jason's with them and Mel. Yay!